If there is one thing I know, travel isn’t a born right. It is a privilege. And one many around the world don’t have the opportunity to experience.
That’s why I am in love with the new charitable foundation set up by Matt Kepnes of Nomadic Matt — FLYTE (Foundation for Learning and Youth Travel Education). Over the years, he has become an advocate for many things centered around responsible tourism (such as being outspoken against swimming with the dolphins and riding elephants).
The basic idea of FLYTE this this: the foundation will fund overseas school trips for underserved high school kids. The organization will help fund and organize trips for teachers who want to put real world context into their lesson plans.
I was fortunate when I was in high school to have a very supportive family and when the opportunity came up to perform at the Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, I was able to do so. However, I know that is not the case for many people in the US.
That’s why Matt started FLYTE.
“Travel is a life changing experience. When you explore the world, you get a better sense of the people who inhabit it. Opening yourself up to new experiences can have a powerful impact on you and help you figure out who you are and what you want to be,” he said. “I didnâ€™t get to travel when I was a kid, but as an adult Iâ€™ve worked to have the means to do so on my own. Not everyone gets a chance to travel the world or has a family that can take them on a trip, so I want to bring the power of travel to kids who might not otherwise get chance to travel abroad. I want to broaden their horizons and help them see what a big world is out there.”
He chose to work help fund trips for small or economically disadvantaged communities because he understands that children don’t always have the influences that encourage them to aspire to bigger things.
“You arenâ€™t always exposed to a lot of new ideas or people different than you. I want this program to take kids out of their comfort zone, open their minds, and inspire them to think big,” said Matt.
What makes FLYTE different from other programs which send students on trips? FLYTE isn’t a tour company. The goal of FLYTE is to be a grant organization which will fund trips for people around the US.
“I want a teacher in rural North Dakota or inner city Detroit to be able to take her kids on a trip anywhere â€“ not just to a pre-selected set of destinations,” he said. “I want kids from around the country, not just those in big East Coast cities, to be able to see the world.”
And, he needs our help to do it.
Because this a charity, FLYTE needs donations in orderÂ to get off the ground. The campaign, which launches today, needs to raise an initial $500,000 and needs help to do so. Those who are able to donate will receive gifts at each donation level, such as free books, tours, plane tickets and more.
Want to help? Check out more information on FLYTE and donate today.